Heidi s Story
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada
"I have struggled with depression for most of my life. It started during my teenage years. What I remember is a growing sadness, that eventually led to complete depression.
I was good at hiding it, and more-or-less carried on each day as though nothing was wrong. Inside though, the pain was building, and I knew something was wrong. But, I didn’t know how to ask for help, even though I wanted to.
When I reached my twenties, I started asking for that help, and really haven’t stopped since. In the last fifteen years, I’ve seen five different therapists, tried about ten different medications, and been hospitalized once. I don’t hide any of that nor am I ashamed of it. I know I need help to get through my days, and I embrace this fully.
Part of my goal, as someone who has received a lot of treatment, is to help others realize how common this is. That, if they need help, it really isn’t a big deal, and not to be embarrassed by it.
I started an Instagram page where I do just that, and the response has been fantastic. While the online world has its downsides, it actually has been one of my most cherished resources. Walking alongside others, through the use of pictures and personal stories, has been incredibly powerful.
For me the invisible part of my illness is the internal struggle to function properly. It’s hard to get out of bed, dressed, shower, and so-on. By the time I meet a friend for coffee, I likely look relatively presentable, but it took a lot of strength to get to that moment. And, that is what no one else sees."